Dear Jane, Mental Illness or Spiritual Warfare?
Ever since our childhood, my older sister has battled with terrible mood swings and bouts of really high highs and really low lows. My family is deeply religious and refused to get her professional help – and to make matters worse, my father has always enabled this type of behavior and has even coddled her after traumatic outbursts towards me.
These childhood experiences led me to feel as though I had to be the perfect child to offset the drama that my sister’s unpredictable behavior created within our household. Now as an adult, her behavior has only worsened and seems to have escalated to an even more hostile place with blaming her mental and emotional state on spiritual warfare.
Now that I’m an adult, I’m torn on whether or not to step in and try to seek professional medical help for my sister’s mental wellbeing. The problem is that my sister made it clear that she believes that her issues are caused by spiritual entities.
Don’t get me wrong, I love clearing my chakras, practicing yoga, and enjoying a Reiki energy cleanse, but it seems as though my sister’s obsession with the spiritual realm might be rooted in something deeper and could be masking a bigger mental health issue.
Jane, what should I do? Try to seek help or tune out and stay away?
– Seeking Help For My Sibling
It’s not your responsibility to fix someone else, whether their issues are from mental health issues or from an unseen spiritual realm. The only person that you can control is yourself.”
Dear Seeking Help For My Sibling,
The first thing that I want to do is to thank you for being so honest and transparent about your childhood, your sister’s past and present mental state, and growing up with conservatively religious parents.
A lot of us are ashamed or embarrassed to discuss religion, especially when it’s not a super liberal point of view, so thank you for not holding back when it comes to what’s going on with you and your family. With that being said, my advice might surprise you.
Even though you asked about advice concerning getting help for your sister, I’d rather focus on your wellbeing and making sure that you’re taking care of yourself first as I’m sure that as a child, it felt like it was your responsibility to take care of your sister and to be good for your parents, so let’s unburden you from those unhealthy expectations.
Plus, we have to accept that we can’t control the actions of other people and you’ll drive yourself into the ground trying to make someone get help when they don’t want to get help. You’re her sister, not her parent, so shed yourself from the responsibility of having to protect her.
This doesn’t mean that you don’t want to have a healthy and supportive relationship with your sister, but following a few of my insights below might help in getting there.
Give the Gift of Hello Mellow
The one thing that I will say about you trying to help your sister get in a better place regarding her mental health would be to give her the gift of Hello Mellow supplements that helps to ease anxiety, calm the mind, and even out mood swings.
If you include it in a gift bag, she might be more open to trying it than if you tell her that she needs to “be on meds” especially because the supplements are all-natural and not a prescription medication.
Create Healthy Boundaries
When your sister starts to spiral, remove yourself from the situation. Don’t try to fix her or change the situation, just remove yourself in order to protect yourself, your energy, and your emotional wellbeing. Also, it might be a tough conversation to have and you might get some resistance from her, but let her know that if she isn’t able to control herself when she’s around you, then you’ll be limiting the amount of access that she has to you.
Remember: It’s not your responsibility to fix someone else, whether their issues are from mental health issues or from an unseen spiritual realm. The only person that you can control is yourself, so you can be a source of support but not at the expense of your own wellbeing
Jane is the fictional heroine of the Betoken lifestyle blog, Good For Jane. Think of Jane as your virtual BFF. She lives a healthy lifestyle, but not like, over the top. When it’s not a pandemic, she loves hanging out with her friends, dating, and exercising in public. Throughout the pandemic she has baked her fair share of sourdoughs, gotten more than her fair share of takeout to “support her local restaurants”, ordered wine online and taken plenty of CBD to keep the anxiety at bay.
Jane is also the editor of the Dear Jane column. If you have a question for Jane, you can email her at email@example.com.
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